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Ossining Planning Board: Harbor Square Not Ready

OSSINING, N.Y. – The Harbor Square Development Project is once again a priority in Ossining, however if Tuesday’s village planning board meeting is any indication, it could be a while before construction takes place.

The planning board and board of architectural review made no decisions Tuesday night on the revised Harbor Square Development site plan. Developers Martin Ginsburg and Louis Cappelli previously received affirmative votes from the village board of trustees in 2005 for planned condominium and retail buildings on the Hudson River, but the down economy led to a stall in development. The village board recently agreed to send the revised plan in front of the planning board.

Ginsberg representatives Joe Dziegelewski and Daniel Mulvey presented a revised plan to the planning board that included changes from 150 condominium units to 180 rental units. 

Board Chair Joe Clarke said he would like to see further revisions.

“I think the general consensus here is that more work needs to be done,” Clarke said. “The previous plans took what was good about the area around it and I’m not seeing that here.”

Board member John Fry agreed.

“I’m not suggesting we don’t like it,” Fry said. “It’s just that there are refinements needed.”

Fry added that one area needing improvement is the look of the buildings themselves.

“I’m not seeing what our community is incorporated into this,” Fry said. “This plan says ‘I want to be in Miami but I’m in Ossining.’”

Mulvey, who works as executive vice president for Ginsburg Development, said he wasn’t surprised with what he heard from planning board members.

“What we’re trying to do is reenergize something we had always envisioned building and now we’re starting to see we might be able to have a completed project,” Mulvey said. “We think it’s a great project but it needs more input and that’s what this meeting was about.”

Joanne Tall, Ossining resident and Historic Preservation Commission chair, said she was far more impressed with new development in Tarrytown than what she saw from Ginsburg.

“It’s important because it’s our waterfront and it’s the only waterfront we have,” Tull said. “What they’re doing in Tarrytown is Class A construction. This is Class C.”

Development representatives are slated to return to the planning board for future discussion and a possible recommendation to the Village of Ossining Board of Trustees. The board of trustees has final approval on the project and would be able to affirm or deny any recommendation made from the planning board.

Joe Dziegelewski, director of development for Ginsburg, said Tuesday he was not discouraged with the process.

“Everyone is excited to see something again,” he said. “Something needs to happen down there. We have an opportunity now to do something and I think that’s what’s important.”

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